Heaven could only exist on earth.
Religion may have its liabilities. In fact, there are enough contradictions in the 64th chapter of the Koran and any three verses of Leviticus alone to confuse humanity until the rapture never happens. But it does promise a supernatural Shangri-la, which will compensate us for a willful lack of pleasure in this life. It makes sense: The only way to get people to deny themselves a sex life, besides attending Comic-Con, is if you promise them more sex at a later time and in a different realm. It’s an investment portfolio for your genitalia.
So Muslims and their Judeo-Christian counterparts will goad atheists that it doesn’t hurt to believe in God and do “good” things because at least then, if Heaven does exists, you can enjoy an eternity of it. But while we’re convinced Heaven is like an uninterrupted string of all our best moments here on earth—which aren’t that great for devout religionists, anyway—maybe Heaven is more like an outdoor music festival: too expensive and never as much fun as it sounds.
For instance, Islam says that Jihadists will have 72 virgins in their Heaven (or Jannat, as proof that we do research here). This sounds great at first glance—think of all the sex. As a Muslim, you wouldn’t know what sex is like, but just think of it.
Except sex with 72 virgins is worse than sex with a 72-year-old. Most of the virgins will start to cry once you put it in, especially since you’ll put it in like a sociopath because, let’s remember, you’re a virgin, too. Also, 72 virgins means 72 girls who couldn’t fellate a Diet Coke. I’d take my right hand—even my left hand, over that any day
And a virgin, unless she’s super pissed at her dad, wouldn’t be as adventurous in bed as you would want her to be. Submissiveness is good, but nothing beats submissiveness with energy that you can only get from a girl who’s been around the block enough times to lose her guilt but not too many times as to become jaded.
And let’s be honest about one thing: the only guys who think that sex is a big deal are virgins and Muslims who think they need to go to Jannat to have it. Guys enjoy sex, don’t get me wrong, but not as much as girls do. What’s important about sex for guys is that through our power, confidence, or ability lower our standards, we can get a girl in bed with us. The sex is just a cherry on top, pun intended only once. It’s more of a status symbol for guys, not a pleasure symbol as it is for girls.
So there you are, in Jannat, in your palace of gold with pictures of Mohammed everywhere—where pictures of Mohammed aren’t a sin, I’m guessing—and 72 virgins show up at your door to take you through a few rounds of awkward rubbing, which wouldn’t be so bad except your neighbor has 72 virgins too, so you can’t even brag about it.
Same goes for a Judeo-Christian Heaven, where any wish you desire will be fulfilled to your heart’s, mind’s, and penis’s content. Except getting whatever you want all the time is super annoying. This is why attractive girls, or rich girls of any caliber, can be totally lame.
So behind the Pearly gates you’ll find a city of people who act how TMZ portrays Paris Hilton to be. Not to mention you’ll invariably turn into one yourself. And on top of it, since you’re in a Christian Heaven, everyone will moralize your face off—sounds as lame as taking your girlfriend to a strip club.
Heaven also promises to reunite you with your dead friends and family members. Or, in other words, an eternity of your mom nagging you to hang your coat up, your dad expressing his disappointment with you, and endless noogies from your big brother.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all great things; a dad wouldn’t be a dad if he wasn’t reminding you that you weren’t living up to your potential—I mean, if he didn’t do it, then who would? But what makes these quirks endearing is that they eventually die off.
This is why vacations with your friends can never last more than four days. The great thing about a friend is that his idiosyncrasies don’t matter much when you’re only going to know him for the rest of his life or your life, depending on whoever drinks more. The same goes for bigger feuds as well. It’s much easier to forgive a buddy for sleeping with your girlfriend if you keep it in perspective with mortality, and it’s much easier to not tell him about that time you slept with his girlfriend when you don’t need to keep it a secret for eternity.
Eastern eschatology is more vague but just as stupid—the muddiness of Nirvana covers up the fact that nobody knows what it is. Therefore, the best thing that anyone could say about Nirvana is that it probably has nothing to do with a Nirvana song.
So not only is Heaven an outdoor music festival, but it’s an Applebee’s. It looks good on the surface, though it’s just a freeze-fried world on a sticky table of poisonous ideas, especially for children.
Happiness without a cause is incoherent, and it ultimately leads to unhappiness. But it’s the only thing religion can offer in return for guilt, shame, and suicide bombings. The truth is that everything we actually want are things that we can get ourselves.
Except for those damn pictures of Mohammed.